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An Answer to the Growing Complexity of Enterprise Storage

Thought-Leadership by Gautam Gidwani
on August 5, 2015

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For many businesses, storage has become too complex and expensive. The state of storage systems keeps growing every year due to increasing data volume associated with all the different applications. Keeping up with this pace is actually the largest spend in many companies’ IT budget.

The ever-growing demand for storage may be one of the largest IT obstacles, including both management complexity (OPEX), as well as scalability issues (CAPEX).

Software-Defined Storage Resolves Enterprise Data Challenges

Parag Patel, VMware’s VP of Worldwide sales for Software-Defined Storage, challenges an emerging, cost-effective way to overcome enterprise storage challenges: when overall asset productivity is considered, existing enterprise storage methodologies is not nearly productive enough given the growing requirements and costs associated with this storage. This gap is costing customers enormous sums every year, so adjusting the asset productivity curve is quite possibly the best answer.VMware Virtual Storage Area Network (vSAN) is a radically simple solution that brings a fundamentally different operational model to storage, and reduces the overall cost by over 50%. vSAN is the most scalable and cost-effective storage solution for vSphere VMs.

vSAN – How It Works

V-Sphere virtualization clusters a set of servers together and delivers a pool of computing resources. A microprocessor and memory in those servers virtualizes the computing resources that can be deployed over a variety of virtual machines. vSAN takes advantage of this layer of software and installs another layer of software on it, which goes further and provides built-in storage to those virtual machines. vSAN builds on the clustering capabilities of the V-Sphere Hypervisor by taking all the disks that are inside these servers and virtualizing them into a pool of shared storage. At this point, storage is effectively built into the virtual machine that allows radically simple storage - a new operational model that requires far less labor and effort.  Storage admins are no longer heads-down dealing with the nitty-gritty and innards of the storage array; they can now be heads-up dealing with higher level infrastructure management issues.vSAN takes advantage of two design principles:

  1. Every server has about 10% disk capacity devoted to Flash. These SSDs dramatically accelerate the read/write operations coming out of virtual machines, and therefore allow the storage system to operate at a very high throughput.

  2. All of the storage processing is in the same layer of software as the compute processing. All storage operations are actually being executed right in the hypervisor, reducing latency and the time it takes for data to travel.

The next step was converting systems to put everything on the same rack. All the compute and storage is converged into the hypervisor lair. When processing at the software layer, it can be fundamentally faster and more powerful than doing it at two, three, or four different hardware layers.

With the vSAN’s automation capabilities, costs are lowered and operations simplified, and the high-performance suits the requirements of almost any enterprise.  o hear further details about what vSAN can do for you as far as performance and cost savings, watch the below video that features Patel.

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Related blog posts:

Topics: Core Infrastructure

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